These principles align with the current principles of the Natural Capital Protocol, which itself builds on guidance from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the World Resource Institute (WRI)/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB):
Relevance: Ensure that the most relevant issues are considered throughout the social capital assessment including the impacts and/ or dependencies that are most material for the business and its stakeholders. This helps a business to understand the most important impacts and/or dependencies it has on social capital and which of its activities lead to these11.
Rigor: Use technically robust (from a scientific and economic perspective) information, data, and methods that are also fit for purpose. This will make the social capital information produced by the analysis as reliable as possible, for the context in which it was produced.
Replicability: Ensure that all assumptions, data, caveats, and methods used are transparent, traceable, fully documented, and repeatable. This facilitates iterative development and application of the approach and its eventual implementation across the business. It also allows for eventual verification or audit, as required.
Consistency: Ensure the data and methods used for an assessment are compatible with each other and with the scope of the analysis, which depends on the overall objective and expected application. This supports the ability to scale and integrate measurement and valuation across the company.
11 Relevance is a principle to adhere to throughout the application of the Protocol. Materiality is considered further in Step 3.